This is one of the secrets of the internet: You can download Netflix, Amazon, and Disney + shows on your iPad or iPhone, and even your Windows PC, but you can’t download content from these services on your Mac.
You can watch Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney + content on your Mac, to do so simply by logging into each service’s page. But downloading is prohibited (and if you see a service that seems to suggest it will allow you to do so, it could be malware!)
If you just want to download movies to watch on your Mac on a long train trip or international flight, it will no doubt be frustrating. Your only option may be to find content on Apple TV + or use Apple’s own iTunes Store, where you can rent or buy movies or TV shows and download them to your Mac. But why pay when you can get them for free on one of these popular subscription services?
Unfortunately, there’s only one option if you want to download content from Netflix, Amazon, or Disney + and watch it offline: you’ll need to download it to your iPhone or iPad.
Can AirPlay help?
You may be wondering if you can use AirPlay to stream content from your iPhone or iPad to the larger screen of your Mac. AirPlay is Apple’s solution for streaming from your Mac, iPad, or iPhone to your TV screen.
You might be forgiven for thinking it would be possible to stream content from an iPhone or iPad to a Mac screen using AirPlay. After all, AirPlay is available on all three devices. However, you cannot use AirPlay to stream content from an iPhone or iPad to a Mac screen at this time.
That is about to change when iOS 15 arrives on the iPhone, iPadOS 15 on the iPad, and Monterey on the Mac. When the new operating systems are launched later in 2021, you should be able to use AirPlay to send content to your Mac from an iPhone, iPad, or other Mac. You’ll also be able to use your Mac as an AirPlay speaker.
This doesn’t work with every Mac, however. If your Mac is older than 2018, you won’t be able to use the new feature. You will need a MacBook Pro (2018 and newer), MacBook Air (2018 and newer), iMac (2019 and newer), iMac Pro (2017), Mac mini (2020 and newer), Mac Pro (2019), and iPhone 7 and newer. iPad Pro (2nd generation and newer), iPad Air (3rd generation and newer), iPad (6th generation and newer), or iPad mini (5th generation and newer). If your iPhone, iPad, or Mac is older, it may still be possible to share content at a lower resolution if you set “Allow AirPlay for” to “Everyone” or “Everyone on the same network”.
Whether this upcoming change will allow you to stream downloaded Netflix, Amazon, or Disney + shows from an iPhone or iPad to a Mac remains to be seen. Even though AirPlay works from iPhone to Mac, it can still violate Netflix’s terms if you play downloaded content on your Mac, which can lead to subscription termination.
While you wait for new operating systems to come out, there are other ways to stream from your iOS device to your Mac, but you will need to install the app on your Mac. For example, AirServer (£ 14.99 / $ 14.99) or Reflector (£ 16.01 / $ 14.99) are two Mac apps that you can use to stream content from an iPhone or iPad to a Mac . We have a separate article on streaming from iPhone or iPad to Mac.
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